I'm going to be honest. I began flyfishing just over 30 years ago, fishing for
largemouth with a heavy hula popper and a short leader. Casts were close,
and delicacy wasn't an issue. About 10 years ago, I began ff'ing for trout, but
also wanted to cast better. I bought a couple books, but figured that I didn't need to begin with the basics: I had been catching fish for years. WRONG!
You must understand how the rod, line, and leader function, and how you
fit into the equation. All four parts are essential components to a good cast,
and there's no way around it. Watch at least the first 3 parts of this 4 part
series: CLICK HERE
won't show you how to fix a situation in which the leader doesn't straighten,
but that won't be an issue for long if you cast your fly line the way he shows.
If you're casting like Tim in the videos, and the leader won't straighten:
-Make sure the leader is not coiled.
-Match the leader to the fly: don't try casting a #6 Wooly Bugger with a 9 foot 5X leader...yet.
-Try a 7.5 foot 4X leader for a while. Once that leader straightens properly,
go longer if needed.
-Make sure your leaders are decent quality. I love Scientific Anglers fly line,
but their leaders stink. Umpqua and Rio make very nice knotless leaders.
-Seek the advice and guidance of any flyfisherman you might spot on the water. Go to the local fly shop, and ask for help. They may take you outside
and watch you cast. Sometimes it's the smallest movement that will cause
you cast to be ruined. Once again, mimic Tim's cast in the video link above.
-Take some lessons. You may have to pay, or you could get lucky and find
someone willing to help without making a profit.
-Don't aim your cast directly at the water's surface. The leader needs to
unfurl, and if your fly line is hitting the water in a ballistic manner, the leader
is not going to be able to unfurl in the proper form.
I've learned there really are no shortcuts in fly casting. I wanted to find a shortcut to better casting, but that only makes
things worse. Find the proper casting form, and then practice it often. Cast
in your backyard, and use a leader. After making what looks like a good cast,
lay the rod down, and look at your leader. Is it straight? If so, continue practicing. If it's coiled/collapsed, go back and make sure all the steps in
a proper cast have been followed.